ARCADIA, CA – Trainer Craig Dollase’s recent claim Cupid’s Claws paid immediate dividends to his new connections by winning Sunday’s $100,000 Tokyo City Cup Stakes (G3) at Santa Anita Park.
Cupid’s Claws broke from the rail at 7/1 odds under Flavien Prat while racing without blinkers for the first time since January 2019.
Tizamagician went to the lead and ran unopposed heading into the far turn for the first time before clicking off fractions of :25.22, :49.72, 1:14.82, and 1:39.75 through the opening mile.
Heading into the far turn, the 2/1 favorite Combatant ranged up from his stalking position as Cupid’s Claws came rolling three-wide behind them.
Turning for home under a full head of steam, Cupid’s Claws straightened out with a narrow advantage and quickly distanced himself from the field, crossing 7 1/4 lengths clear while completing the 1 1/2-mile fast dirt marathon event in 2:30.12.
“I give all the credit to Craig,” said Prat, who was aboard last time out in the race from which he was claimed. “I thought he made a great move going long on the dirt and it worked out well.”
Tizamagician repelled Combatant’s bid to take second by 1 1/4 lengths, while Combatant held third by a 1/2-length over Muralist.
Bold Endeavor, Potantico, and an eased Azul Coast completed the order of finish.
Cupid’s Claws’ win came in his first start for Dollase and new owners Flawless Racing, Masino Racing Stable, Brian Flanagan, and Michael Jarvis. The 5-year-old Kitten’s Joy gelding was making his dirt and stakes debuts in this spot and improved his career record to 18-4-2-3 with $172,296 earned.
“Great group of guys, they trusted me and I came up with this horse,” Dollase said. “I’ve been watching his form. When I saw him in the race, we claimed him in, I pulled the trigger and I was the only claim in there for him that day. Things work out sometimes.”
Cupid’s Claws returned $17 to win, $6.20 to place, and $3 to show. Tizamagician brought back $3.40 to place and $2.60 to show, while Combatant paid $2.40 to show.